DM’s Notes – 200207-08

 

Well, the game is rolling right along…the party is certainly an interesting group, strong in magic and psionics, just a touch of stealth, and very little muscle. It seems it was a good decision to not override the d10 when it showed Brax was lost. Heh.

 

The group has had some significant accomplishments. Primary among them is the conquest and subsequent ownership of the Tower of Malvagel. We’re going to need a better write-up on the tower itself, but the journal of the poor Penta will provide significant fodder for the greater story arc. Key among them: the tower’s capabilities itself…is it sentient, or just a tool? The Orb…Martok has the First’sOrb…what of the remaining Penta? The First’s is the Master Orb, which allows him see all uses of the other four…that will take some noodling. The state of Taran and the Forge also fit very nicely in the greater arc. The importance of the Prava/Martok thread goes without saying. Now that Martok has realized the Third’s Orb is in the hands of someone, and the Tower taken, what will he do?

 

The second item cogent with the greater arc is the identification of True Ambrosians as those offering assistance to the Duke. Carefully placed, this thread was ignored by the party…heh, I suppose 50 or so paladins supported by 100 foot was a bit intimidating. However, this thread gives the first look at the manipulation of the Duke by the True Ambrosians, and can provide a solid foundation for the party’s return to the Wounded Land, once they recuperate in Riverside. In any event, the party will eventually note increased activity on the Duke’s part.

 

The minor threads are difficult to count, but many are quite good. Among them:

-          Entwhistle and the staff – Completed, see below.

-          Tam and his Little Girl – Completed, see below.

-          Sightings of the Dergen – Already ready.

-          The various Eldren sightings and battles – Already ready.

-          Enigma’s gift to Sardo – We’ll just have to see…

-          The death of Loric – In progress, see below. (complete, Cronic in Riverside)

-          The Cultists that escaped Durum - ? Do they matter?

-          Edici’s manipulation of the scouts – Depends on the reports…

-          Where is Common anyway? – Completed, see below.

 

All of which fit nicely with the greater arc, and form very nice adventures/encounters of themselves. This shit writes itself.

 

One major gap right now is player support. Lazy GM…the Ambrosian Pantheon must be completed, and soon. Some of the other character development activities needed are player-driven, but must be dealt with…sooner rather than later.

 

Well, enough for now. Mental efficiency is low. Priority development will be given to encounters and themes the players will soon meet with…

 

 


Just what is the Duke up to?

 

Bolstered by the covert assisting of the True Ambrosians, the Duke is expanding his raids. Directed by the Order to focus on the destruction of defenses and leave the Yrken villagers unharmed, the Duke feels he finally has the ally he has been longing for…true Yrkens, who know the importance of Tristram, and the weakness of those who disagree with his goals.

 

Unknown to the Duke, his Ambrosian “allies” do not consider him or any of his ragtag band Yrken, and intend only to use them to destabilize the border. When the villages along the Troos demand protection, Ector will have no choice but to ask the Order for aid. Once established as protectors of the border, it will be a simple task to eliminate the Duke, gaining even more support from the people. From there, little will stop them from taking a lead role in the recovery of Tristram…despite Ector’s  wishes, or for that matter, the Lord Protector’s.

 

What is going on in Riverside?

 

The Duke’s recent raid on Riverside was devastating. Already reeling from the murder of the ferryman and a band of militia who crossed the Troos, the village barely drove off the Duke and his men…unknown to them, the Duke held his hand (see above). Nevertheless, the raid did its job. The village’s Defenders, Rufus and Berne slew many of the Duke’s men before being incapacitated. The Duke in full view of the villagers killed Rufus in single combat. Berne, enraged, Blighted herself attempting to avenge him and is still bed-ridden. The village militia acquitted itself well, but is now leaderless…the half-finished fortress was burned by the Duke’s men…Riverside is essentially defenseless. Goot has been elected Mayor by the village council, and is doing his best…but he’s no warrior, and the simple palisade and ditches they have begun to construct forms only a patchwork defense at best.

 

Aid has been requested from Count Ector, but his resources are stretched to the limit, and help will not be coming any time soon…

 

Where is Common anyway?

 

Common is trapped north of the Troos and is not pleased. It has found and dealt with several leaders of Dergen clans traveling to Caer Eldren, but senses what lies there and is terrified of it.

 

Common needs “heartier” fare to thrive, and is heading northwest towards Charn…

 

What about Loric?

 

Sundancer has returned to the True Ambrosians, and the significance is not lost on them…the delicacy of the situation on the Troos prevents overt action, but there will be an investigation as soon as the Order allows his brother, Kronic, to begin it. If Kronic finds that Loric was betrayed, as he suspects, vengeance will be taken, despite the cost. (Cronic has been introduced)

 

The Entwhistle issue

 

Archimedes and the gang promised to plant the old treant’s staff in the first large forest they had access to…he will know if they lie. Unfortunately, the nearest forest that fits the description is Crowley Wood, a birch, beech, and willow stand about one day’s travel to the west of Riverside. Problem is, all the villagers know it’s haunted. (see below for the Crowley Wood outline)

 

If no action is taken, the staff will begin to wilt and die, and be dead within a week.


Yosh Imo – Defender of Riverside

 

AC:         3

HD:        Fighter 8

HP:         56           Curr:      56

MV:        6”

AL:         Neutral Good (Chaotic tendencies)

Stat:        S 18/02                 I 15         W 15      D 16       C15        Ch13

Proficiencies:

Bastard sword (spec x2),  halberd (spec), short sword, dagger (thrown)

NWP: Endurance (con), Running (dex –1), Survival (int), Weapons Display (dex)

Equip:

Bastard sword +2 in back scabbard (sheds light 30’ when activated)

Halberd

Short sword +1 in jeweled Royal Guard sheath (wrapped in cloth)

Sturdy boots, harness

Chain mail

4 x daggers (2 concealed):               0              0              0              0

Eye Patch (painted with evil looking eye)

Other:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Att:         2/1/1/1

Dmg:      1-8 or 2-8 (+6, +8), 1d10 (+1, +3), 1d6 (+2, +4), 1d4 (+2, +2)

 

Yosh spent his youth loyally serving the father of King Laertes, and when that noble old king died he felt something had gone wrong with Yrkenland. Prince Laertes, a debutant, became King Laertes the despot, but years of service are not so easily dismissed. The burning of Nodpesken in the Civil War was the last straw. When ordered to slay refugees fleeing the city, Yosh and his men rebelled, cutting their way to the sea where they took ship, hoping to reach Charn. It was not to be. Crippled by a Sea Lord pirate, Yosh’s ship limped into a fishing village near Vindolanda. Hearing of North Yrken soldiers heading their way, Yosh and his most trusted men crossed the Troos to test themselves in the Wounded Land.

 

It was a poor test, and soon only Yosh survived. Living on what little he could find, maimed by an Eldren demon, he wandered into Durum, and there spent nearly three months serving the Cultist Geoff Karat. Freed by a band of northern adventurers, he now resides in the village of Riverside in Galava province, and acts as the Defender of the village, organizing its military readiness.

 

Yosh at all times thinks tactically…his gray hair has not cost him his wit, and he seeks through a mixture of bravado, biting sarcasm, and devastating sincerity to keep all close to him off balance. He feels great gratitude to the adventurers who slew Geoff, and will use his experience and newfound influence to help them if he can.

 

He won’t ever admit he likes them much, however. ;-)


Artifacts of Ambrose – The Orbs of Gramstihk

 

Legend states that the first Orbs were created by Gramstihk with the assistance of Tarak in the Dark Time, to assist Ambrose in his war against the Eldren. Since the days of the Shepherd King, the Orbs were held by the “penta” of the King…though the secret of the forming of  true Penta is long lost, modern mages still gather in groups of five, believing it a powerful and effective combination. The King’s penta has historically been formed of a First, the most powerful, and four others. With the First in the lead, these “penta” served the King since the dawn of Yrkenland.

 

When Laertes declared his intent to sue for peace with Charn by ceding all of the northern provinces, the King’s penta followed the lead of Lord Eracusin and the northern nobles, rebelling. When they left his service, they left much of their base of power behind, but took all of the tomes that could be carried, and as importantly, the Orbs with which they had been entrusted.

 

Sadly, both the First’s and the Third’s Orbs have been lost, and the remaining three are stowed deep in the Protector’s keep. Fearing their corruption by the Eldren, the Second’s, Fourth’s, and Fifth’s Orbs reside in a thick lead-lined chest deep below the earth, where they can not be used.

 

The First’s is in the hands of Martok, the evil being merged with the captured General Prava by the misuse of the green Soul Gem of Caer Eldren. The Third’s is in the hands of an adventurer who recently plundered the Tower of Malvagel, deep in the Wounded Land. All Orbs function as Crystal Balls, here are there added capabilities:

 

Master Orb (1) – The holder of the master orb has a particularly powerful scrying device. All attempts to use it gain a +20% chance of success, and once contact is made can utilize it’s special functions, which include: clairaudience, clairvoyance, ESP, and telepathic communication. If desired, the holder of the Master Orb can use domination, as per the spell, to attempt to force the holder of another orb to perform a particular task. Essentially, the holder of the Master Orb can see and hear what the wielder of another Orb experiences, listen to their thoughts, communicate with them, and even attempt to force them to his will.

 

Greater Orbs (4)– The four major orbs were created by Gramstihk and Tarak, and have capabilities none has been able to replicate. These orbs allow the user to see and hear what their target experiences if they wish, and enable telepathic communication to the Master. All contact attempts are made +10%

 

Minor Orbs (5) – Though unable to recreate the brilliant work of the Companions, modern mages have been able to produce facsimiles of the Greater Orbs. These orbs are limited to basic scrying however. The production of new Orbs is closely regulated by the Protector’s Penta.

 

Base Crystal ball stats:                     Viewing Period:                 Frequency:

Personally known:            100%     1 hour                                   3/day

Personally acquainted:    85%        30 minutes                           3/day

Pictured:                               50%        30 minutes                           2/day

Part of in possession:       50%        30 minutes                           2/day

Garment in possession:   25%        15 minutes                           1/day

Well informed of:               25%        15 minutes                           1/day

Slightly informed of:         20%        10 minutes                           1/day

Masked:                                -25%      10 minutes                           1/day

 


 Development Ideas, continued

 

1)       The four Shrines and the Temple of Yelaya – should the party find the shrine south of Vagnicae, they will have the chance to decipher a mural. Showing four shrines surrounding a great temple, the stylized mural does not form a map, but can show enough to infer that the location of the original Temple of Yelaya can found. We’ll need a bit more of a write-up on that encounter, specifically on the ogre mage…he should taunt them about things awakening…hint at the troubles brewing in the Wounded Land, and on it’s borders. “You have been spared the pain of the world…”

2)       The Dead Gods – Something to think about…maybe along the lines of Moorcock’s story, the party finds hints of a “Dead God’s Book” that contains the path to great power…the book indeed exists, but is kept well hidden in a secret place by the Order of the Abacus on Ambrose’s Isle…premature for the group now, but a fantastic way to introduce them to the Isle.

3)       The Isle – See above…there will be a time when they want to go, or need to go. Will need more than vague ideas in the noggin.

4)       The Western Waste – Once viewed, it will be clear the Barrier Peaks can’t be crossed, but there is lot of open space out there, complete wilderness and ruins…many of the secrets of the greater arc will be there, so it’s time to start thinking about it.

5)       Recent events – Need a clear timeline in the Ambrosian calendar so history is consistent. (complete…8/30)

6)       Insane Eldren, the GraveDigger – enough said! (complete – 8/11)


North Yrkenland – Summary of Recent History

 

824 DE – Our brave band begins its adventure

822 DE – Duke Erekose goes renegade and takes those loyal to him across the Troos. Declaring that all who will not follow him are not Yrken, he commences to raid NY for supplies and arms. The Lord Protector names him an enemy of the Yrken Cause and places a 10,000 g.p. bounty on Erekose’s head.

821 DE – The 2nd Eldren War. General Prava leads the army of the North against the Eldren and is defeated with great loss. Prava, the First, the Third, and many others go missing in the Wounded Land. The Yrken armies take horrific casualties, with some entire armies lost to the man. The Lord Protector forbids any Yrken from crossing the Troos, on penalty of death.

818 DE – The 1st Eldren War. The Eldren land at Vagnicae and take the city by storm, later reducing it to ruin. Eldren ships fill the harbor. The Eldren army fans out to the west, northwest, and southwest taking all the lands north and east of the Troos and south of the Iron Mountains. This land constitutes what was Tristram Province, NY. Tens of thousands of Yrken are killed, thousands more displaced. The Duke of Tristram, Erekose, unwillingly flees to Galava. The Eldren begin to construct a demonic fortress, known only as Caer Eldren, on the site of the Yrken mining village Gloss-on-Renn. Their evil purpose is unknown.

818 DE – General Prava defeats the King’s army at Nodpesken in the Summer Country. The King’s burning of the great city when retreating from the Northern Lords spurs further rebellion against him, and the King’s ministers arrange a peace treaty with NY.

817 DE - The northern lords declare Eracusin Lord Protector of the North, and Prava Defender of the North, and form the nation of North Yrkenland. The Protector gives his blessing to the young Duke of Tristram, Erekose, and Tristram becomes part of NY for their support in the civil war.The King declares open warfare against the rebels.

816 DE – Charn attacks Tristram in force, seeking to retake that land. They also attack along the border into Strathclyde, Rheged, and Dyfed. Outnumbered and surprised, the Yrken are nearly overrun. General Prava and the army of the bastard Eracusin later sweeps the Charnish armies back across their borders. Charn sues for peace and yields Tristram to NY.

799 DE – After years of battle the northern lords led by Eracusin, the bastard son of Laeton, defeat the Loor. General Prava, once the King’s Defender, figures heavily in the fighting, many times defeating the Charnish armies when heavily outnumbered.

795 DE – Loor armies roam unchecked through the north of Yrkenland, and threaten to penetrate into the heartland. The new King, Laertes son of Laeton, indicates his intent to sue for peace by apologizing for the incursions across the Troos and surrendering the northern provinces. The nobles of the north rebel, followed by the King’s mages and many others. The King damns them as arrogant fools who reject the lessons of Ambrose for an oath-breaker, and withdraws all his armies to the Summer Country to defend the heartland.

793 DE – King Laeton dies in his sleep at the age of 73. His son Laertes gains the throne.

793 DE – After a decade of silence the Charnish Loor strike back, and five massive armies march on Tristram from five directions. Duke Errant, leading a daring raid slays two of Charn’s five High Lords with his ancient battle blade, but is killed while returning by a sole Loor sniper outside the walls of his besieged capital of Vagnicae. His young son Erekose picks up his father’s blade and leads the armies of Tristram in their defense.

782 DE – Duke Errant, cousin to King Laeton disobeys his liege and strikes across the Troos with a great army of Yrken, proclaiming his intent to take the rich land of Tristram from the “savages” and build a land where the Yrken have “elbow room”. The Charnish population is completely surprised by the assault and driven with great loss north across the Iron Mountains.  King Laeton stops short of naming the Duke renegade, but makes his displeasure clear by pulling all of the family’s lands and titles.

 

 

DM Notes 083002 – Near term projections/details

 

Crowley Wood

-          Moving right along…Lev’s death sucks, and the way the party handled it was not good. Too many “lawful” alignments for this much chaos

-          Goldenchain is of course completely pissed off by the fire. Only the brownies, the pixies, and Buttercup together will be able to convince her not kill the rest of the party. Buttercup knows this, and will use her powers to create “Lorax”, a simulacrum of Lev to communicate with the party.

-          The party is 24 hours from being overdue. Manfred, always vigilant, knows this and has sent Pelt and Dalryn to find them. Originally, he only wished to send Pelt, but Dalryn insisted. This has Manfred wondering what the link between Dalryn and the party is, and why it is so strong.

-          Lev the Raccoon is hanging out with Buttercup. As the only raccoon with dimension door, he’s having a good time.

Riverside

-          Tam has killed again…this time a fisherman who had the audacity to stop on the north side of the Troos to take a crap. The villagers are pissed, and the Defenders are being asked to deal with him once and for all.

-          Count Ector has given full amnesty to Yosh, on the condition that he stay on as Defender of Riverside. The old warrior has accepted, for he likes the people a great deal (though he’ll never admit it), and he is beginning to feel his age. A relationship of sorts has begun to blossom between he and Berne, leading to much tongue-wagging in the village.

-          Edici’s orders have arrived. The party is to resume Seanee’s mission to Vagnicae. The Count needs the contents of the Treasury to finance mercenaries…without it, he will have to accept the offered help of the True Ambrosians, which is he loath to do, especially now that he has read the reports. The Count is quite impressed with his scouts so far, and very interested to see if they can pull this off. A river boat will be provided, crewed by a small squad of Ector’s soldiers. (needs development…think Apocalypse Now)

-          Cronic has left he village, object unknown. Rumor has it he paid a fisherman to cross the Troos!

-          Mir has settled in as village priest, and is engaged to a local widow.

Generic

-          Lev’s signet ring will be recognized by any of the northern lords. Evidence of the Protector’s son is valuable indeed…

-          Need to improve in-game notes…too many things are being missed.

-          Need to develop Citadel of Vagnicae…it is the next mission, after all…